I was invited to bagpipe in Lincoln City Oregon for a 70th birthday party. What a party it was!
I arrived around 5:30PM and without tuning my pipes, I was instructed to march straight into the house and head directly for the side door. The only problem was the ceiling on the porch was too low and angled to blow up my bag pipe and begin marching so I slightly cheated by striking my pipes just after opening the door. It still had the same enchanting and charming effect. As I began my 6/8 march, I immediately noticed the women in front of me full of shock and disbelief. This I thought must be the birthday girl. After the shock had subsided, tears filled her eyes (tears of joy I hope). I quickly marched toward the glass doors and outside onto the deck overlooking the beach and the south side of Lincoln City Oregon.
While playing, the neighbors had arrived and pictures were being snapped from all angles, I might have been the biggest celebrity in Lincoln City Oregon (besides who was performing at Chinook Winds Casino). After a set of 6/8 marches (Miss Ishabel & Duncan McGillvary – found in the Portland Pipe Music section), I quit my pipes and introduced myself as the birthday bagpiper and gave the the birthday girl a huge hug.
Following the formalities, we filled up a bucket of beers (good beers, including PBR) and headed to the beach. I marched, piping a set of 3/4 marches. I launched from one into another without a clue that I knew so many (I should add those to the music section). The walk was easy with no steps or boulders to climb however once I hit the beach I went from a march pace to a down trotted crawl. Marching with bagpipes in sand should be avoided at all cost and additionally, I probably looked hilarious doing it.
That particular Saturday at the Lincoln City with bagpipes was absolutely gorgeous. This was the second time I came from Portland to bagpipe at the Oregon Coast. The first I could barely maneuver my fingers fast enough to keep up with the tunes. Thanks to the warmth of the sun, my fingers felt lucid and alive. I did stay away from the Jigs and Hornpipes in case the weather took a turn for the worse. You never know on the Oregon Coast. I played mostly slow marches and slow airs which I felt was appropriate for the beach. We drank, laughed and told stories of Scotland and Ireland. It was a very knowledgeable bunch of people.
After arriving back in the Lincoln City beach cabin and before dinner, I choose to perform our new band medley for the group. A medley is a compilation of jigs, hornpipes, reels, strathspeys and slow airs. It is the medley the Portland Metro Pipe Band will be competing with this summer. I finished with bagpiping a traditional March, Strasthspey, Reel commonly referred too as an MSR.
With dinner came more drinking, roast beef, cabbage, potatoes and short bread – a traditional Irish meal. What a day, I was pooped.